View Full Version : Test Pilot Film

13th Apr 2010, 17:56
I recollect seeing a British B&W film from the 50's. In it a test pilot managed to get out of a sticky situation and walked home at the end of another working day to his wife as though nothing had happened, but she'd been alerted earlier by a nosey neighbour and made an issue out of it all. Thats all that I can remember' does it ring any bells with anyone?

longer ron
13th Apr 2010, 18:28
Man In The Sky [DVD] [1956]: Amazon.co.uk: Jack Hawkins, Elizabeth Sellars, Walter Fitzgerald, John Stratton, Eddie Byrne, Victor Maddern, Charles Crichton: DVD (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Man-Sky-DVD-Jack-Hawkins/dp/B002VD5S8S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1271183155&sr=8-1)

13th Apr 2010, 18:28
There was a film staring Jack Hawkins as a Test pilot of a Bristol Freighter titled "The Man in the Sky"......I think he had some sort of difficulty with the flying controls (elevator ?).

If I remember correctly, his wife, Elizabeth Sellars, wasn't very understanding of his problems and gave him a hard time 'cos he'd forgotten to pick up the dry cleaning on the way home - or failed to pick up her mother or some similar triviality.

An unusual twist on aviation, compared to popular Hollywood "superhuman" perception of Test Pilots

13th Apr 2010, 22:20
You aren't thinking of "Sound Barrier" with the famous line.....
"I'm pushing the stick forward" to get out of a sticket situation, are you?

13th Apr 2010, 22:37
The OP posted a very accurate description of Man In The Sky, this must be the film, I watched only a couple of weeks ago

14th Apr 2010, 07:09

There is a modicum of truth in letting the stick go forward when the stick is against the rear stops and your subsonic aircraft continues to pitch down.

Rather than make a big hole in the ground as you haul back on the stick, letting it go forward results in going under in a controllable bunt. Then when you get up the other side a roll from inverted will have you smiling and supercharged with adrenalin.

Was about to exercise this option in a Vulcan when flying to the corner of the envelope. Pitch down persisted whilst supersonic until we reached the vertical. At that point some control returned as Mach number reduced together with increasing IAS, minimum engine thrust and speed brakes beyond their normal deployment speed. By then crew had very tight harnesses in preparation for the bunt which soon became unnecessary.

14th Apr 2010, 11:10
Milt. The detail of that would be an interesting recollection on the http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/111797-did-you-fly-vulcan-merged-83.html Thread.

Thread centreline capture; it sounds like Man in the Sky to me too.

John Farley
15th Apr 2010, 16:10
f I remember correctly, his wife, Elizabeth Sellars, wasn't very understanding of his problems and gave him a hard time 'cos he'd forgotten to pick up the dry cleaning on the way home - or failed to pick up her mother or some similar triviality.

Women are women and wives are wives.

Why should anyone expect them to change just because they are related to a test pilot?

15th Apr 2010, 23:17
Thanks. I must watch the film.
John, so true :ok:

16th Apr 2010, 07:26
Vulcan, supersonic. Eh?

16th Apr 2010, 22:02
Vulcan, supersonic. Eh?

Maybe....I remember as an RAF ADO MDAA at RAF Patrington in the 1960s doing a "Fighter Affil" with a Vulcan trolling for "trade"....
Two USAF F4s (Rodeo43/44) called on "Broadcast Freq" for an "intercept" on any a/c........
The Lead F4 was vectored into the 6 o'clock of the Vulcan, with his number two in close trail. [No2 was (I think) a trainee, 'cos No1 was "counting down" the range [to sidewinder launch]. As he got to "5 Miles, tone" the next call was Where the F**k has he gone.
The Vulcan had looped over the F4s [at 45k] and a very "English" voice on the R/T said "Oh for a pair of 20mil cannons"....
Supersonic? Perhaps [The Trident was tracked at M1.2]
Manoeuverable? Certainly

17th Apr 2010, 05:18

The Vulcan Mk1 which took me/us through to about 1.05 IMN had full up elevators and pitching down at about 10 degrees/second. The start point was the corner of the flight test envelope at 0.98 IMN, 415K IAS and 2.5g carrying a full load of small bombs and weapon bay doors open. The bomb carriers were instrumented. 0.98 mach and 415 Kts occurs at about 35,000 ft. so a spiral dive was started at about 45,000ft even though those numbers can be reached in level flight.

Nose down mach pitch commenced at 0.88 for the Vulcan. An Auto Mach Trimmer fed in increasing up elvator up to 0.98 Mach at which speed it ran out of authority. In the spiral trying to hold .98 and 2.5g while the IAS built up towards 415 Kts was a bit touchy and the Mach number dropped off a bit. Too much correction caused a Mach overshoot of .98 with the elevators already close to full up. With the edge that close we just went over it into 'no man's land' pitching down with full back stick.

Came close to losing the tail as the rear bulkhead of the weapon bay was deformed. Post incident problem was an increasing noise as IAS reduced. This was result of the oxygen filler access door in the nose coming open. The noise was like blowing across the top of an empty bottle and quite disconcerting.

Jeff Glasser
19th Apr 2010, 15:10
re open access panel.

F..ck me Milt, I bet that sound got your attention! I once had a piece of gaffer tape come loose around the outside of the door on our Cessna 185 parachute club aircraft. The noise that made as I got a bit too fast in the descent after a drop was like those bits of polythene sheet that holiday makers used to wrap (badly) around the cases strapped to the roof of the A35 on route to Devon! It scared the cr*p out of me as I did'nt know what was the cause, and thought I was about to pull the wings off!

That noise was a scarey to me as your Vulcans' imitation of a 'Louisiana Jug Band' :eek:

21st Apr 2010, 08:00
Although perhaps but vaguely connected to test flying - there is on record
an incident in the life of ACM Bennet (ex Pathfinders) that took place during the cold war - of an event most of us would not wish to experience.
During the Berlin Airlift when a/c had to fly in or out of Templehof
at something like 2 minute intervals - Bennet in his haste to fit into his alloted slot - coupled with bad weather closing in discovered to his
horror that in his heavily loaded Tudor he was at full throttle down the
run-way with flying controls jammed - realising too late that he had
failed to check the locks had been removed.

The story of how he managed to clear the boundary - keep low level flight
and return to the airfield without causing a major disastor are a well worth
a read.

21st Apr 2010, 08:22
Gatow, surely?

21st Apr 2010, 10:47
Thanks Gbz you are probably quite right - Tempelhof being more
USAAF dominated (or by then had it become usaf).